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NSW kickstarts decarbonisation and circular infrastructure design

NSW kickstarts decarbonisation and circular infrastructure design

The NSW state government released the Decarbonising Infrastructure Delivery Roadmap to help future government infrastructure projects drive down emissions and costs.

Minister for infrastructure Rob Stokes said the measure is one of several actions released as part of the roadmap.

“Reducing carbon emissions from infrastructure projects saves money, saves time, and helps save the planet,” Stokes said.

“Cutting emissions will cut the amount of steel and concrete we use to build big infrastructure projects and can even create more capacity to build more infrastructure projects.

“What gets measured gets managed, which is why we’re introducing a standardised carbon measurement tool across Government projects, ensuring NSW remains a national leader when it comes to action on climate change.

“We’ve also developed the first ever policy to support the use of a circular economy for construction materials, which will create a new market for recycled materials across Australia’s construction sector.”

Minister for environment James Griffin said consultation will occur this year on the draft Protection of the Environment Policy (PEP) for sustainable construction, which is being delivered by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

“Already, NSW is leading the nation when it comes to sustainable design and reducing emissions, and our new regulation for sustainable construction will go even further,” Griffin said.

“The PEP will require public infrastructure projects to further improve design and construction to reduce carbon and prioritise the use of low-carbon recycled or remanufactured substitute materials derived from waste streams in NSW.

“Using a circular economy approach in the built environment could deliver $773 billion in direct economic benefits across Australia over 20 years, and reduce emissions by 3.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2040. That’s equivalent to taking almost 800,000 cars off the road annually.”

“Integrating circularity into the built environment will create new industries, enable new ventures within the repair, re-use and recycle economy, and provide protection from the rising cost of materials and disposal of waste.”

The Protection of the Environment Policy will be piloted on three Transport for NSW projects in 2023, including the Edmonson Park North multi-storey commuter carpark, St Mary’s Footbridge and the M12 West.

To help industry decarbonise, the NSW Government has established a $37 million Carbon Recycling and Abatement Fund, as a part of its $356 million Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy.

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